A slow leak in your pipes, plumbing fixtures, or appliances, particularly water leaks behind walls, is one of the most significant contributors to the amount of water that is wasted in your home. Because these leaks are generally silent, they frequently escape detection because of their nature. Your local Roto-Rooter plumber has the ability to locate and fix any water leak.
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If dry rot left untreated, hidden plumbing leaks can lead to serious water damage in your home. But there are usually some subtle signs to help you identify these types of leaks, including:
- Mildew or mould. Mold thrives in moist, dark environments, such as those found behind walls or beneath flooring. If a pipe bursts, mould can grow in the affected area. You may have a leaking pipe if you notice mould in unusual places where water does not normally accumulate, such as non-shower walls.
- Your walls are peeling paint or wallpaper.
- A wall that has become warped or stained without apparent cause.
- Especially in the bathroom, a buckled, cracked, or water-stained floor or ceiling.
- There is a musty odour. The odour of old, accumulated water from a leaky pipe is common. And if it's hidden behind a wall, it'll never dry.
If you do not see obvious signs of a water leak behind walls but suspect you have one, there is an easy way to determine just that…use your water meter. Follow these guidelines for using your water meter to find hidden plumbing leaks:
- Turn off all water-using appliances, such as the dishwasher, washer, and sprinklers.
- Check your water metre and make a note of the reading (this is the number of gallons used by your home)
- Allow at least three hours. During this time, do not use any water in your home.
- Examine the water metre once more. If the number has risen, you have a water leak somewhere in your house. If you don't see any obvious leaks coming from your faucets, toilets, or other water-using appliances, you're likely dealing with a hidden leak.
This test is not going to tell you where the water leak is located, that much is obvious. Toilets, the area beneath your kitchen or bathroom sinks, in the bathtub or shower, the water heater, the ice maker water supply line, and washing machine hoses are some of the most common places in the home where water leaks can occur. Other common places include: the water heater. Contacting an experienced plumber, on the other hand, is likely to be the most effective course of action for locating a water leak.
The Causes of Water Leakage in Your Walls
It is not possible for your walls to develop leaks on their own. There are reasonable explanations for why those leaks came to light.
Some of the reasons behind water leaks can be addressed in advance to prevent them from developing into a serious issue, while other reasons may go undetected until they begin to cause problems. You can prevent water leaks from becoming a serious issue by addressing some of the reasons behind them.
Natural Wear and Tear
Houses degrade over time, just like the furniture and appliances that are housed within them. This indicates that as the days, months, and years pass, your plumbing system will also gradually become less effective.
There is not much that can be done about that situation. Even if you make an investment in higher-quality plumbing materials during the construction phase or have your pipes inspected on a routine basis, the passage of time will still cause them to fail at some point.
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Hopefully, though, you won’t need to deal with your pipes leaking due to wear and tear anytime in the near future.
Too Much Frozen Water in Your Pipes
There is a good reason why professionals in the field of home repair recommend performing maintenance checks on your heating system and insulating your pipes prior to the onset of winter. The freezing temperatures that are typical during that time of the year can wreak havoc on your plumbing system, with the pipes becoming especially susceptible to damage because of the increased likelihood of freezing.
It's possible that any water that comes into contact with your pipes during the winter will freeze. After that point, the ice might be too much for your pipes to handle if it continues to build up. That, in turn, could lead to the formation of cracks.
Clogging in the Pipes
There is a possibility that various kinds of debris will enter your pipes over the course of many months. The majority of the damage is typically caused by the smaller leaves and twigs.
The vast majority of the time, those small items will travel through your plumbing system without causing any problems. However, there is a possibility that they will become lodged in your plumbing, which will result in the formation of obstructions.
Because of the obstruction, water may begin to gather in one location, resulting in an increase in the pressure within the pipes. In the same way that excess ice can cause cracks, high water pressure can as well.
Water Pressure Is Set Too High
There are multiple factors that can contribute to an increase in the water pressure in your home. It's possible that you turned up the water pressure while you were power-washing a section of your house. It's possible that once you were finished, you forgot to switch it back to its normal setting.
If you repeatedly expose your pipes to high water pressure, you will quickly cause damage to those pipes that will be difficult to repair. For your own protection, you should make it a habit to check the pressure of your water on a regular basis.
Repairs Were Not Carried Out Properly
In addition to this, the fact that your pipes are leaking could be due to the fact that they were not handled correctly in the past. It is more likely that you will experience leaks in the future if you entrusted the repair of your plumbing to workers who lacked experience.
It is always a good idea to seek the assistance of skilled professionals whenever there is a need for repairs because they have the necessary experience. They are able to not only fix the plumbing problem that is currently occuring, but also stop any future problems from occuring.
The Effects of Water Leaking Inside Your Walls
You probably already know that water damage is bad news for your walls, but are you aware of how damaging it can be? Water damage can make your walls brittle and even cause them to fall down. Damage caused by water can do more than just make your home unpleasant to live in. Additionally, it may have long-term effects that have an effect on your financial situation.
Your Home’s Structural Integrity May Be Compromised
The damage that can be done to the structural integrity of your home as a result of water leakage is probably the most concerning side effect that can occur as a result of water leakage. Long-term contact with moisture can not only alter the appearance of your home's walls, but it can also have an effect on the raw materials that were used to construct your house.
Because of the water and metal components that are present, the wooden panels that are used in your walls may soon rot, and they may also succumb to corrosion. The deterioration of those materials might result in the emergence of even more significant issues in the future.
It's possible that certain sections of the walls in your home need to be repaired or replaced. If the deterioration is especially severe, a full renovation might be required to fix the problem.
Mold and Mildew May Start to Grow
Mold and mildew are two examples of the types of fungi that flourish in damp environments; mould is the more common of the two. The presence of mould and mildew in your walls is problematic for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that their growth can be destructive.
The continuation of their growth may cause damage to particular sections of your wall. In addition to that, they are also capable of causing health problems.
Pests May Start to Invade Your Home
If your pipes are leaking, you should be concerned about more than just mould and mildew because other intruders could enter your home as well. Pests are drawn to damp environments, and your house could quickly become infested with them.
Pests such as cockroaches, mosquitoes, and termites, to name just a few examples, are drawn to environments that have a high level of humidity. If you fail to check for any possible leaks in your home, you run the risk of making it an environment that is friendlier to unwanted guests, such as insects and rodents.
You May Need to Pay Bigger Utility Bills
A higher water bill is another potential consequence of a leaking water pipe or fixture.
If the temperature regulation in your home is off, not only will you be paying for water that will be wasted, but it's also possible that your electric or gas bills will be higher as a result. Those bills have a tendency to pile up over time and put a significant dent in your bank account.
Your Home’s Value May Suffer
Let's say that after assessing the harm that the water leak has caused to your home, you come to the conclusion that it is in your best interest to accept your losses and sell your house as soon as possible rather than pay for expensive repairs.
The difficulty here is that you might be forced to sell at a loss. If your home has significant water damage, you may not make much of a profit even if everything goes perfectly when you sell it. This is true even in the best case scenario.
10 Tips You Must Know Plumbing Leaks
There is a wide variety of possible triggers for water damage in your residence. Floods, burst pipes, and sewage backups are examples of water damage sources that are readily apparent to homeowners and cause them to take immediate corrective action. On the other hand, there are some sources of water damage that are much harder to detect, such as water leaks behind walls. These can cause a great deal of property damage. In most cases, homeowners do not become aware of hidden leaks until after they have already caused a significant amount of damage to their homes.
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You don't need to know everything about plumbing, but it's important to understand the basics, especially when it comes to leaks.
Wrap your pipes in heat.
The exterior piping is a crucial component of the design. When the temperature outside is very low and the building's cold-water pipes come into contact with any part of the building's exterior, it is highly likely that the pipes will freeze if the water is not being used in the building. Since the only circumstance in which water will not freeze is when it is in motion, it is prudent to keep all of the faucets open whenever you will be absent from your home for an extended period of time. Insulating the entire area is, however, going to be your best bet in this situation.
You may not know what's right, but you can usually spot what's wrong
You should take a moment to inspect all of the pipes that are visible in your home so that you are aware of what is happening with them. In many cases, homeowners do not check their basements on a regular basis. When a pool of water suddenly appears in their basement, causing damage to their valuables, the homeowners have no idea that anything is wrong. Even if you have no idea what you're looking at when you examine the pipes in your basement, if you notice rust, buckling, or water drops, you'll know without a doubt that something is wrong.
A stuffed sink can easily spring a leak.
Simply peek under your kitchen sink every so often to check for any signs of leaks and see if there are any dripping spots. Examining something is something that should be done regularly.
Set back the spigot valve.
In certain circumstances, such as when the pipe will be passing through a cement foundation, it is advisable to have a frost-proof hose bib installed. In order to help prevent the water from freezing, the hose bib gives you the ability to turn off the water supply from inside the house.
Radiators need a good level and an open valve.
Checking the angle at which the radiator is tilted is the first thing that needs to be done. The radiator should always be tilted in the direction of the steam generator. When that water eventually condenses, it will be able to drain back into the boiler in this way.
A leaky water heater is a dead water heater.
The most significant issue is that the lining eventually wears away, resulting in water dripping from the base of the product. Call the manufacturer and provide the model number if you notice that a significant amount of water is leaking; if you're lucky, you'll find out that the product is still covered by the warranty. If you decide to replace the water heater, you should make an effort to instal a pan underneath it.
Don't blow a gasket -replace it.
If water is dripping from the shower spout, the problem is probably caused by a faulty washer or seat within the body of the shower head. Fixing it should not be too difficult as long as you have isolation valves to cut off the water supply to that area of the building. Turn off the water supply to that shower, disassemble the handles, and remove the stem from the shower head that contains the washer. After that, replace everything, reinstall it, and monitor it.
Trace the trap leak back to the wall
If you have a leak, it is likely to be on the back side, where it actually connects to the wall. In this case, you will need to disassemble the drain work in order to fix the problem. In many cases, you can even use your hands to tighten it and check to see if the leaking stops. If it does not, you can simply use a wrench to make it a little bit tighter.
Washers and o-rings are much cheaper than a new fixture.
Even if you squeeze a worn washer, if it has a defect, you might still get a drip from it, no matter how hard you squeeze it. You will need to take off whatever is broken, replace the faulty washer with a new one, tighten the old one, replace the handle, and then test it.
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Mechanical faucets never last forever.
Since a faucet is a mechanical object, it is inevitable that it will develop a leak at some point. Some people like the faucet that is already there, even though it might be an older model, while others would rather have a new one installed. When the faucet reaches a certain age and level of corrosion, obtaining replacement parts for it will become increasingly difficult. The majority of the time, it will be less expensive overall to put in a brand new one.
FAQs About Water Leaks
Water can cause the subsurface to swell and warp, and pushing the tile to lift even harder. When excess moisture is present, it could cause mold and mildew growth, eating away the mortar even further.
Water pipe leaks can be just as severe as other forms of pipe leaks, water can physically cause structural damage to a building which can be financially harmful. Health effects include mould and damp problems that could be very harmful to people with respiratory issues such as asthma.
One of the leading causes of leaks is corrosion. Pipes are susceptible to rust as they age. Consider changing your older plumbing system for newer models once you see signs of wear and tear.
You can detect leaks in walls by looking for key signs of water damage, including peeling paint or wallpaper, or patches of discoloration. A musty smell indoors can also indicate a water leak. Pinpoint the exact location of a water leak by using a water meter or cutting into your walls.
Infrared camera – You can also use an infrared camera to detect cold areas in a wall. The wettest areas of a wall will be the coldest and will show up as blue or purple on the camera. This is another device commonly used by plumbing professionals to detect water leaks inside walls.